If you've never heard of "thin privilege," writer Cora Harrington recently explained it in a now-viral Twitter thread that was received well by some and not so well by others. The founder of The Lingerie Addict and author of the book In Intimate Detail took to Twitter to share that "you don't have to 'feel thin' to have thin privilege."
"Thinness isn’t a feeling,” Harrington tweeted. “If other people perceive you as thin, you are thin. If you are able to walk into any clothing store and expect to see a wide range of options in your size, you are thin.”
She further explained that, even though she doesn't look like the thin models with whom she works, she, too, has thin privilege.
“My job involves looking at photos of models who are much thinner than me, so I rarely ‘feel’ thin,” she tweeted. “But I can walk into almost any clothing store and expect ― without even thinking about it ― to buy something in my size. That is thin privilege.”
Many argued that thin people have issues finding clothing that fits their bodies, too, and they also face different forms of discrimination. They're often faced with questions like, "Do you even eat?" and are shamed for their fitness routines.
"There are people who struggle to gain weight the same way others struggle to lose it," one Twiiter user wrote in response. "Body shaming in any form is disgusting. Don’t make assumptions you wouldn’t want made on you."
Another user commented: "Hmm whilst I do agree with you, I’m afraid to say this tweet is exclusionary & narrow minded. When I was an anorexic I was very much prejudiced against for all of these things you say are prejudiced against 'non-thin' people. I couldn’t get a job, treated poorly & seen as mental."
Harrington told "Good Morning America” that one Twitter user was so upset with her thread, they actually responded with telling her to hang herself.
"Society, in general, is structured around the assumption that people will be or should be a certain way," Harrington nonetheless told the show. "Thin privilege is a system of benefits or advantages that society gives you for looking or being a certain way."
In her Twitter thread, she reiterates that thin privilege "doesn’t mean your life is easy or that no one ever made fun of your appearance or that you can find everything you want in your local Target." Rather, she says, it means that "societal discrimination and prejudice does not target you for being thin" because your weight and body type are deemed “normal.”
Read on for the full Twitter thread below.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.